Welcome to the International African American Museum! Advanced timed tickets are required for all visitors. Popular dates and times may be sold out.
14 Wharfside StreetCharleston, SC 29401
Museum open 10am to 5pm (last entry 4:00 PM) Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Monday.
IAAM will challenge, illuminate, inspire and, ultimately, will move people to action.
14 Wharfside Street — Charleston, SC 29401
Oct 17, 2019
You can search among the now 34,153,314
index and obituaries for a record of your ancestor. Records are added to this
collection as they come available. The database can be found here: United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014.
results from this database you will need to Find a
Family History Center near you.
Obituaries can lead to so much
more discovery. You learn the name of your ancestor at the point of death. Your
ancestor’s age is given, but that age is not always correct. If your ancestor
was enslaved, they may not have had any idea what their correct age would have
been. At the time of death, your ancestor may have forgotten their correct age.
If you learn the birth date from the obituary,
finding them at their birth with family is possible. Then if you learn of the
place were they where born, you can go to the Research Wiki and look up that very
place and find many resources where they may be documented.
Sometimes the death certificate is not the first record that you find. When you find the obituary, you can then look for the death certificate. You can also look for the cemetery and the funeral home. Take the time to look in the local newspaper for your ancestor. Do not just search for their obituary, but search for other articles that will tell you what church they attended, schools they went to, clubs they joined. You should follow articles that reveal court records. Historic newspapers can tell you a lot about your ancestor’s life.
When you finally exhaust the search for your
ancestor, his or her obituary will mention the names of other people you can
also research. Many obituaries will state which of those people have passed on.
The search for parents, spouses, or other relatives can be triggered from the
I have had great success with
using obituaries later to find parents and spouses. Some ancestors even were
married more than once, and the obituary helped to uncover that. From
obituaries, I have found marriage records and wills and probate records. Most
importantly, obituaries have led me backward and forward in identifying people
in my line. In most obituaries, you are given the parents and the children of
your ancestor, and you can use both to go in either direction.
It is important to understand
that there could be another copy of the obituary outside of this database.
Check your ancestor’s library or university library because they might have
databases or microfilmed copies of newspapers from the area.
I looked up Mrs. Mattie Vance Boyd in this database. I found her in the database. She died on 17 November 2005 in Columbia, South Carolina. She was two of four siblings that had passed away by 2005. Today, Frank Luther Vance and his wife, Wilhelmina Burton Vance, are both passed along with each of their children. Lutherine Vance Smith was the last child living. Also mentioned in the obituary are husband, children, granddaughters, brother- in -law, and son-in-law. Can you see how finding them on the census is much easier if you have the obituary? How about oral history interviews for living relatives? Tell us what you think on the Facebook Group.
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